Most Gulf bourses hit by global fears
Dubai, November 10, 2008
Most Gulf Arab bourses declined on Monday as investors worried about the impact of a global economic slowdown on the region, with property stocks in the United Arab Emirates among the hardest hit.
Dubai's Emaar Properties plunged 6.53 per cent, while Union Properties and mortgage lender Tamweel plummeted 7.34 per cent and 6.1 per cent respectively.
'There is a new wave of fear hitting the UAE real estate sector, particularly in Dubai, as people are worried about problems facing second and third-tier developers. This is affecting the whole sector,' said Mohammed Yasin, managing director at Shuaa Securities.
Cutbacks by banks on project financing in the region due to of the global credit crisis was contributing to fears about the sector's health, Yasin said.
In Abu Dhabi, with Sorouh Real Estate and Arkan Building Materials slipped 7.89 per cent and 8.27 per cent respectively.
Worries about the global economic outlook also hit the bourses of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, with investors worried about the impact of the crisis on company profits.
The Doha benchmark slipped more than 3 per cent, with Industries Qatar leading losses, ending 5.37 per cent lower.
'Everyone is selling the stock because they are worried the company will not be able to match its profits from last year,' said Samer al-Jaouni, general manager at Middle East Financial Brokerage.
'Sentiment is very low due to what is happening in Europe and the United States,' he added.
The Saudi benchmark fell more than 1 per cent, weighed by Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, which ended 2.57 per cent down after saying it expected its fourth-quarter earnings to be hit by a rapid slide in prices and a slowdown in demand due to the global financial crisis.
The Dubai benchmark ended 3.96 per cent lower at 2,527 points. The index has fallen nearly 60 per cent this year, making it the worst performing market in the Gulf Arab region.
Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD lost 5.43 per cent and 3.56 per cent respectively.
The Abu Dhabi main index declined 1.98 per cent to 3,127 points, closing lower for the third consecutive trading session.
Etisalat shed 1.33 per cent, while National Bank of Abu Dhabi declined 3.57 per cent. The Doha benchmark slipped 3.65 per cent to 6,765 points, having fallen nearly 30 per cent since the beginning of the year.
Qatar Islamic Bank and Commercial Bank of Qatar declined 6.88 per cent and 6.31 per cent.
The Muscat index ended 0.1 per cent higher at 6,701 points, the only market to buck the regional trend. Bank Muscat closes 0.8 per cent up.
The Kuwait benchmark declined 1.57 per cent to 9,256 points. National Bank of Kuwait and Al Ahli Bank end 2.74 per cent and 3.53 per cent lower.
'Investors are worried about the remaining third-quarter results, as according to our estimates they are going to be very bad,' said Naser al-Nafisi, general manager at Al-Joman Center for Economic Consultancy.
The Saudi main index slipped 1.2 per cent to 5,766 points. Samba Financial Group and Banque Saudi Fransi lost 3.36 per cent and 5.34 per cent respectively.
The Bahrain main index fell 0.79 per cent to 2,165 points. Shares in Ithmaar Bank plunged 5.75 per cent after it posted a $14.13 million pre-tax loss in the third quarter because operations were affected by the global credit crisis.-Reuters